You Know What’s Sad?

All over America, there are people who do not have something this cute sleeping on their couch.

And yes, that is an oven mitt behind her. No, no, I don’t know why there’s an oven mitt in the living room. I think we have to assume they migrate for the winter and I’ve just caught it on its way to the fireplace.

What is the Next Step?

I had lunch with nm, which I highly recommend to anyone who needs to talk through stuff and I was trying to draw some connection between this post and this post and how I feel like we as online feminists kind of get that there’s this patriarchal system and that it is damaging, but that we also kind of don’t get that it is damaging, that it’s going to make folks who are hurt by it turn around and hurt others. Sady says, “And we talk a lot about how oppression can warp your understanding of self, about how some people raised in an oppressive system will internalize that system. We talk about how people who are victims of abuse often perpetrate it. I just don’t think we were prepared to see that play itself out on Mad Men,” but you could stop that last sentence right before “on” and you’d get to where we are as an online feminist community right now.

Things playing out that we were not prepared for.

And bout after bout of “Purge the Heresy” in response.

But nm is roughly Sally Draper’s age and she remembers how mind-blowing it was to sit around and talk to other women and to learn that this weirdness she felt at how the world was arranged wasn’t unique to her and that it was systemic and pervasive.

And then she said something that blew my mind, which I am going to paraphrase, because, obviously, I did not write it down like I should have, which is that once you see it, once you get it and you get how it works, maybe there’s not much more to say about it.

And, yeah, I kind of wonder if that’s not part of it. Once the paradigm shift has happened, you don’t sit around pondering the shift–you just get on with understanding things.

So, yeah, I don’t know.

Something is niggling at me about all this. It fits together somehow, I just don’t quite know how.

19. The Haunting of Eastland and Porter

There were two young men who went to the same church over on the east side of the river. As children, they were inseparable. Tom got married to his high school sweetheart and Danny, though not married when he died, was a well-known flirt, who spent most of his time in the church choir making time with the women who surrounded him.

There had been rumors of trouble in Tom’s life, and it was widely known in the church that he and his family had weekly meetings with the pastor and it was widely accepted that he had been encouraged to marry so young as a way of setting aside his wild youth and aligning himself with God’s will.

The young men were killed in a traffic accident at the corner of Eastland and Porter. Tom still had his motorcycle and Danny needed a ride someplace after church.  Now there is a three-way stop at that corner, but it used to be that only the person coming west on Eastland had to stop and that person was at a distinct disadvantage when trying to see if anyone was coming towards him around the curve. You just had to go and hope no one was coming too quickly.

Tom was the oncoming traffic that day. He skidded up Porter, his motorcycle still between his legs. He died instantly. Danny was thrown clear and he died a few days later.

Since then, the spot has become a magnet for paranormal groups looking to investigate active hauntings. When Davidson County Paranormal League had their Halloween special on WKRN, this corner was one of their features and flame wars erupted on local websites about whether the footage was faked.

The footage that had the whole city talking was of two distinctly male voices. One calls out “Tom? Hey, Tom!” and, after a few minutes, the other calls out, “Danny? Are you really here?” And then there’s a whoop and a scream and sobs.

The Davidson County Paranormal League explained that they considered this a residual haunting, that there weren’t actually spirits still here, that this was a moment in these men’s lives so profound that the right conditions could cause it to replay, over and over.

In a psychology class, up at Austin Peay, this clip was the centerpiece of a discussion of the group dynamics involved with believing in what the professor termed, “this paranormal nonsense.”

And so he played the clip for the class. And a woman in middle of the second row started to sob.

“Oh, my gosh,” she said, wiping her eyes, “I’m so sorry. That just hit me right in the heart. I know that noise.”

“Are you saying that you have witnessed a ghost?” the professor was suddenly worried the lecture was about to go way off track.

“No, no,” she said. “When my husband got back from Iraq, that’s the noise he made when he saw me again for the first time.”

It had not occurred to the professor that the noises at the end of the clip were noises of joy, of loved ones being reunited. But later, as he sat at his desk, playing the video over and over, he wondered how he had missed it.

When he got home, he told his husband about it. His husband, who grew up here, was perplexed, for a long time.

“It’s not obvious to you that the story is about two lovers?”

“No,” the professor said. “My students got it, though. Some of them were uncomfortable with it, but it was clear to them from the noise.”

“Well,” said the husband, “that’s something. In my day, it would have been clear to us from the young marriage, since she wasn’t pregnant. Times change.”

Wildly Inappropriate Speculation about Thomas’s Phone Call to Hill

When a man’s wife calls a woman after almost 20 years, after that wife’s husband has gone on to have a successful career, and what that woman did was to accuse him of something that got the woman made into a national joke, and asks that woman why she did what she did and for an apology and she uses the term “pray about this,” that wife is having some grave doubts about her husband right now that have nothing to do with Hill, though Thomas is hoping they do.

Just my opinion.

Haslam: So, Just Past “Pissy” is “Acquiesce”?

Oh, hell, I’m as terrified of a Haslam gubernatorial reign as the next person who values her right to bodily autonomy and her access to birth control, but look at how he gets all pissy at the Firearms Association and then caves! We’ve got two weeks. We need some more people to try this–demand something from him he doesn’t want to give and then keep pushing until he gets pissy and then keep pushing some more.

If we find that this is just how he does, we can use this to our advantage.

As for the Guns in Everywhere push, call me when state legislators start pushing to lift the ban on guns at Legislative Plaza. Until then, they’re full of shit.

Bill Haslam and the Bogeyman

Folks, once a politician in Tennessee starts talking about abortion, you might as well just read that as “I don’t actually have any ideas for fixing the state and so I need to bring out the bogeyman to scare you!”

Tennessee, it is time for you to realize, they have made it as difficult as legally possible to get an abortion in this state (while still preserving the ability for their daughters and wives and mistresses to get them, should need be) and it has been for at least the past three or four years. This is it. This is what “you won!” looks like.

But now they’ve got a problem. They have been riding that “we will have a victory over abortion!” train so hard and so long to such success that they don’t want off it. They still want to be able to pull out the bogeyman and have him work on you. So, now the problem isn’t just abortion. Now the bogeyman is Planned Parenthood. And when they find a way to defund Planned Parenthood?

Mark my word, they will find another bogeyman.

Because they have no ideas and it’s easier to come up with bogeymen than it is to come up with solutions for our state.

But, in lighter news, the Haslam administration is going to be hilarious, because he’s so easily made pissy. Maybe we should start taking bets on how often he will threaten to take something away from Tennessee if he’s going to be criticized about his handling of it.

Our First Blood Stain

I woke up this morning, stumbled to the bathroom, and stepped in something warm and slick. I turned on the light and it was a huge pile of already-chewed cat food. Then, out in the hall, there was more spit-up, and then, in the back room, even more, but this also had an ominous reddish already turning brown tinge. Now, it was not like when Stella, rest her soul, was oozing blood from her mouth, which was clearly only blood and clearly a lot of it. This was 75% saliva and 25% blood, but enough to leave a nice stain.

I thought, frankly, it was the dog, just based on the fact that usually if the cats throw up cat food, if we don’t get it immediately cleaned up, the dog will eat it, but then I was just sitting here on Twitter asking Heather from Home Ec 101 about whether the stain is removable or if the back room just has character now when the orange cat came into the living room and threw up all over the carpet. No blood, thank god.

So, now I’m thinking he’s the culprit, which, fuck me, I don’t know. He’s sleeping in a chair near me now, oh, and glaring at anything that interrupts him (like loud traffic), so I guess we just keep an eye on him? If he throws up again before I go to work, we’ll have to figure out how to get him to the vet.

Fuck me, if we lose another cat this year I will be crushed.